Looking for 42

Traveling the world looking for the meaning of life and anything else I might find.
Living in: Deception Bay, Australia
  • Day17

    Hué

    July 5, 2017 in Vietnam

    Hué is another of Vietnam's main tourist towns. Menus in the main tourist area are published in English and Korean depending on the target market. Prices are reasonable given the quality of the food.

    The Imperial Palace is lit up quite beautifully at night. We missed entry by 5 minutes. But even just the outside is stunning.

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  • Day17

    Prao to Hué

    July 5, 2017 in Vietnam

    Neither words not photos can do justice to the bends, views and road quality of the ride from Prao to Hué. For the first hour we follow a river that cuts a swath through the mountains. Wide at first, it becomes gradually smaller as we ride ever higher. We enter the Vietnam-Laos border region. The road is now deserted but for a handful of village people using scooters to transport tree fronds, wood and banana trees. Tiny ladies carry heavy loads of cut wood on their backs while girls carry similar basket backpacks filled with leaves of some sort. There are no towns for the first 100km of our ride; only tiny traditional villages hidden in the jungle. Even after that, the few towns we pass through are blink and you'll miss it size. Just an amazing day on an incredible road.Read more

  • Day16

    Hoi An to Prao

    July 4, 2017 in Vietnam

    Leaving Hoi an we wriggle our way west through dusty townships. Quiet mountain roads beckon but first we must battle roadworks and road users who scored highly on the "drive without looking" exam. It's slow going for an hour but, eventually, the towns disappear into our memories.

    QL14 is a great mountain road. It winds effortlessly upwards into and through jungle-clad mountains. The bikes handle the 10% gradients with ease, making for a pleasurable cruise. Natural lookouts provide epic views. The river provides some contrast below. We stop at a pineapple stand and shelter from the midday heat devouring three sweet fruits.

    Prao is a tiny town. We pre booked our roon at a guesthouse through Sammy from the Light Villa in Hoi An. His recommendation is comfortable with air conditioning and wifi.
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  • Day15

    Hoi An

    July 3, 2017 in Vietnam

    After being out in the mountains, Hoi An is a shock to the system. When we arrive the ancient town is wall to wall tourists. A tiny cup of iced coffee costs as much as at home and the dual pricing system is alive.

    Early mornings in Hoi An is gorgeous. A chance to explore the yellow-walled town in peace. Mid-morning we take a massage at Lemongrass Spa where the service is wonderful and the price just $12/hour. As the day heats up we escspe Hoi An with a ride to Da Nang for a movie.

    Evening and night is when Hoi Am comes into it's own. Our guesthouse has a deck on which we sit to watch sunset over the rice fields before heading into town. Lanterns light the steeets, a souvenir market allows us to practice our bargaining skills and boats bob on the river.
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  • Day14

    Dragon Bridge fire show

    July 2, 2017 in Vietnam

    We learn that the Dragon Bridge in Da Nang breaths fire at 9pm every weekend. It's Sunday and the only weekend night that we will be in the area so we ride the 45 minutes to Da Nang to see the spectacle. And what fun it is. There are thousands of people milling around taking photos, chatting and waiting for the show. We eat Baskin Robbins ice creams to cool ourselves from the heat while wathing the people. It's so much fun to be at a festival.

    At 9pm the dragon breaths fire. Balls of flame shoot from it's mouth. The people standing on the bridge must feel the heat. Oohs and aahs rise from the crowded bridge and riverbank, proving once again that we humans are more alike than different. After breathing fire the dragon sprays water. The crowd and cars on the bridge get soaked. We can hear the squeals of delight from our vantage point.
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  • Day14

    Arriving in Danang

    July 2, 2017 in Vietnam

    It's 4.30am when we arrive in Da Nang. We're still asleep on the bus and no one wakes us (nor the other sleeping passengers). Bleery eyed we face the throng of taxi and moto drivers. We have no idea where we need to go and the wifi on the bus didn't work. So I use some roaming data.

    Danang Bikes is right near the beach. As we stepped out of the taxi we are greeted by the most amazing sunrise. Hundreds of people were already swimming and round basket boats ply the waters. Groups of people in matching sports outfits dance, We had a long wait. It got hot. Time eventually passed and we could pick up the bikes for the next leg of our adventure.Read more

  • Day14

    Pleiku to Da Nang

    July 2, 2017 in Vietnam

    The bus company collected us from our hotel at 7pm. The 16 seater mini bus is full and yet more people are being picked up. A sign of things to come. At the bis station there were about 10 buses with coloured lights at the ready. All heading to Da Nang covering three different companies. Our four buses are lined up. The number plate was pointed out to us: this would be important at the midnight stop.

    I'd heard horror stories of overnight bus trips in Vietnam. Statistics are online about crashes and crazy drivers. I doubt these take into account the sheer number of buses driving here. At the midnight stop four buses from the same company are stopped en route to Pleiku. Four more red buses pass in each direction north and south. And that's just in the space of 30 minutes. There must be hundreds of buses cross crossing the country every night and then hundreds more during the day.

    Our trip is comfortable. The bus sways. We watch movies and listen to music on our phones, and sleep. There's bumps and twists but the driver rarely uses his horn and keeps the speed low.
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  • Day13

    Kon Tum to Pleiku

    July 1, 2017 in Vietnam

    The ride down QL14 (aka AH17) was fast. After just one hour of riding through the mountains we returned to Pleiku from where we will catch a bus to Da Nang. For the most part, the ride was easy. But, as with any riding in South East Asia, there were some moments where we wondered what on earth other road users were doing.

  • Day12

    Kon Tum

    June 30, 2017 in Vietnam

    We spent two nights at the Viet Nam Phuot Homestay in Kon Tum. The family were incredible. They fed us delicious food straight from their garden. The daughter took us out to see the sights of Kon Tum, including the Wooden Church. We bought ice cream from a guy with a cart who has been making and selling ice cream for 35 years. It was an absolutely wonderful experience.

  • Day12

    Kon Kotu

    June 30, 2017 in Vietnam

    Our host at the homestay took us to Kon Kotu hill village. We rode along dirt roads through the mountains past rice fields. The height of the village hall determines the power of the village. This one is a tall building. The river here is unique because it flows west to Cambodia, not east to the sea.

  • Day11

    Chůr Đăng crater

    June 29, 2017 in Vietnam

    We rode motorbikes from Pleiku to Kon Tum via Chůr Đăng volcanic crater. We rode down local roads until nearly the end when two local men pointed us down a red dirt track to a path up the crater. The views from the top were superlative. The soil must be rich because vegetables grow in abundance.

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